Reboot: Ruins In Reverse

Tomas Poblete & Alex James Pollard

14 September – 8 October 2020

La Plate-Forme, 67/69 Rue Henri Terquem 59140 Dunkirk, France

Opening: 9-28 October 2020

#residency&exchange #groupexhibition

La Plateforme, Dunkerque presented an exhibition titled Reboot: Ruins in Reverse by Tomas Poblete and Alexander James Pollard. Since arriving from the UK in early September 2020 both artists worked independently on their paintings, using the gallery space as a studio and site of experimentation to respond to the unique context of La Plateforme, Dunkerque. Both artists use paint as an exploratory medium.

Reboot: Ruin in Reverse is part of an artistic residency & exchange programme between HOP Projects CT20 and La Plateforme in Dunkirk that began in 2019. Two artists were sent by each organisation to carry out a residency at the opposite shores, and through which a body of new work is to be produced and shown at the respective project space. It is exciting to see how this artistic dialogue and exchange emerges out of this process, and at a time where Brexit and COVID19 threatens to erect new barriers.

Tomas Poblete

From beginning to end and evoking no particular image, Poblete’s use of colour suggests to us a distant connection to memory and everyday life in a figurative, abstracted and rebellious manner. 

An assembled collection of amateur aesthetic landscapes appear expressively in space where lived objects, found images and collected memories build no narrative strand and where violence lurks unconsciously and untidily close to everything. 

Poblete is inspired by his personal experience growing up in Chile, allegorising ‘The Original American Dream’ which gives form to images that sketch down a hardened coming of age. A lost childhood memory that records a fabricated, adopted and misplaced sense of identity. His work represents a vibrant lifelessness – like television parenting from the 70’s. Folk culture feeds these influences with a dribble of comatose comfort allowing the expression of pain. Poblete sees the emotive gestures he utilises as a symbolic pitch transformed into expressive marks from the unconscious. “I hope to build a continuum of delight, where every other day is literal and primary in its relations to the realities of Dunkerque’s imagined and projected memories.” 


Alexander James Pollard

Alexander James Pollard’s paintings explore aleatory (random), stochastic (relating to patterns that can’t be predicted) and automatic (unconscious) processes, allowing for non-conscious forms of decision making to come to the fore as he is working. His small-scale paintings encompass a wide variety of subject matter explored through both figurative and abstract forms. Since arriving in Dunkerque he has playfully explored themes relating to science-fiction, artificial intelligence, animism, faded notions of Futurism and the time honoured existential subject matter of the skull.  

Often highly worked and re-worked, scraped back or overpainted, his work seeks to renew many of painting’s most salient concerns – the potential of representation as a carrier for narrative and “visual oddness”, composition and balance, the nuances and unpredictability of the painterly mark, and the emotive resonance of colour and texture.  

Pollard’s new paintings continue his very particular practice, reflecting an interest in the potential of fictions to negotiate a critical response to contemporary concerns.